Feb 21, 2013

Leadership and Pace of Change

On February 19, 1942, following the bombing of Pearl Harbor by Japanese warplanes the previous December, US president Franklin Roosevelt signed and executive order calling for the displacement of one hundred and twenty thousand Japanese Americans to internment camps.

Germany and Italy were at war against the United States at the same time but Germans and Italians were not set apart for internment camps.

Only the Japanese.

The point of this blog entry isn't to discuss the "wrongness" of this action. That goes without saying. This was wrong on so many levels.

What interests me about this as a leader is to look at how human beings behave and what impact that has on how we lead.

One of the leadership lessons from this history is that the greater the levels and greater the number of differences, the greater the difficulty in assimilation.

When leading change, when leaders bite off too much for an organization too fast - even though it may be absolutely the right things to do - the cost of making such sweeping changes is often times expressed in broken relationships.

When it comes to institutional and organizational behavior, leaders must use caution and wisdom in the scope of change proposed at a particular time.

Intentional and incremental steps toward the ultimate goal of transformation...Leaders, ones that lead for the long haul keep the pace of change at a sustainable level.

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